Monday, May 26, 2008

FMPU Animation Unit

UPDATED! Turner Classic Movies ran the 1943 documentary The First Motion Picture Unit of the Army Air Forces and it did include a section on the animation department. Here is the relevant section. The bit at the end is included because I spotted Frank Thomas in the chow line.
video

Below are some frame enlargements from it. Can anyone identify any of these people? Click any image to enlarge.
According to Amid Amidi in the comments, the man at right in the above photo is Jules Engel.
According to Amid, the man in the center above facing the camera is Joe Smith.

The man above is possibly Gus Arriola.
A short clip from an animated film about the principles of flight is included in the documentary. This character below represents the drag on an airplane, and his animation smacks of Disney. Perhaps he was done by Frank Thomas or Bernie Wolf.

In a later section of the film, as the men line up for chow, I spotted Frank Thomas in line. He's the fourth from the right. According to Amid, Rudy Larriva is third from right. Are any of the others from the animation section?

9 comments:

Hans Perk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hans Perk said...

OH, drat! I missed the show! Dare I hope someone puts it on YouTube? Or should I hope for reruns? Thanks for posting these images, of course! Anyways...

As to who is who, maybe this old posting can help out...

Amid said...

In the first photo, the guy in front is obviously Jules Engel.

I think the person front and center in the second photo is Joe Smith, who later became a well known movie poster artist (he illustrated the poster for Ben-Hur).

Standing in front of Frank Thomas in the last photo is Rudy Larriva.

There's a photo of most of the crew in Cartoon Modern. I don't have it handy but maybe somebody could get a few more idents out of that.

Amid said...

oops, i just saw hans's link to the fmpu photos. no need to dredge out cartoon modern.

scott said...

Such sleuthing! Ach!

Thad said...

I like how Barney Bear ranks high enough to be mentioned with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Rudy had animated Bugs a few times so that wouldn't have been 'false advertising'.

Michael Sporn said...

Thanks for posting this, Mark. The light boxes look not too different from one you could buy at Disneyland corner in the 60's. The pegs were different. They used "signal corps" my lightbox had three round pegs for 3-hole looseleaf.

Pete Emslie said...

The character, "Drag", looks somewhat derivative of Disney's Gremlin characters. Not a bad thing, actually, as it gives us a tantalizing impression of what that film might have looked like had Disney gone ahead with it. Very appealing animation!

I'm not sure those guys in uniform are real animators, though. I've seen animators working today, and they all wear oversize Hawaiian shirts, shorts and sandals. Yes, I'm convinced those men in their crisp, pressed uniforms must be imposters...

Mitch K said...

Drag is a totally awesome character... and beautifully animated! It's great how seriously animation was taken back then. haha Thanks a whole bunch for sharing this, Mark! :D